Anti-opium drive launched, about 200 ha of poppy crops destroyed in Namsai

Anti-opium drive launched, about 200 ha of poppy crops destroyed in Namsai

ITANAGAR, Feb 12: In a bid to eradicate the drug menace, the Narcotic Cell of Excise Department, Govt of Arunachal Pradesh today launched an opium poppy plantations destruction drive in Namsai district along with the Central Bureau of Narcotics, District Administration, Police and other department, CBOs & NGOs.

Around 200 hectares of illegal poppy cultivation fields were destroyed today at various locations in Kherem, Emphum, Mimey, Alubari, Mabira, Nalong villages under Chowkham circle of Namsai district, informed the State Nodal Officer (Narcotics Cell) Oli Koyu.

The drive against illicit poppy cultivation came in few days after State Governor Brig (Retd) Dr B D Mishra during recent visit to Lohit and Namsai districts had expressed serious concern over the “alarming” drug situation in parts of eastern Arunachal Pradesh which according to Brig Mishra was “destroying the whole society”.

Tomorrow, the anti-opium operation will be carried out in Lohit district in association with police and district administration, revealed Koyu, who drew encouragement from the State Head with Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein giving the call for “zero-tolerance” against drugs. While Koyu is heading the anti-narcotics team, Assistant Narcotics Commissioner S Kumar leading the CBN team.

While informing that Arunachal Pradesh holds the dubious distinction of being the largest opium-producing state in the country, Koyu quoting the NCB and UNDOC report said of the total of poppy crops fields destroyed in the country during 2014-15 the State’s share accounted for 44%, and 767 tonnes of illegal opium was produced by the State during that period.

“Further, it is to mention here that the quantum of drugs addiction/abuse is rising @ more than 200% since last five years in the eastern districts of Arunachal Pradesh, specially in Lohit, Namsai, Anjaw, Longding and Tirap,” Koyu informed, adding that the level of illegal poppy cultivation has drastically increased in these districts since last two years.

Considering the seriousness of the issue, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and Governor Brig (Retd) Dr B D Mishra directed the concerned district administrators to take up the issue on war footing to control the drug menace which is directly posing a threat to the national security. The Governor has also advised the Nodal Officer to intensify the drive and devise a comprehensive action plan to deal with this drug menace, he added.

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